Some years ago, autumn found me making a pot of soup every week. I experimented with quite a few kinds and kept it up till winter turned to spring, at which time I realized how much easier (healthier and lower in calories) it is to prepare meals, when a pot of soup lives in the fridge all week!
Somewhere along the years, my fall/winter go-to became a huge pot of vegetable soup, which mostly serves as a base for Mitch and I to add our own “extras”. This is one great way to solve the herbivore/carnivore “what’s for dinner?” question! I will include the recipe below, but honestly, you can just use whatever you have in your fridge and pantry. Like the chakra salad, I try for as many colors as possible! The soup gets better each day it sits, so it’s a great make ahead, meal prep for the week, dish.
Personally, I like to add some cubed tofu, a little brown rice, a handful of shredded, vegan cheese, nooch, and a few croutons. This becomes a one bowl meal, chock full of all the nutrients and fiber you could possibly need, yet still low in calories! Super affordable, always aiming for seasonal veggies, and filling. Mitch likes things more basic, and will usually have it as a side dish, making it a great way to get in lots of veggies.
Ingredients (in my last pot, but it changes as the seasonal veggies change)
a few cloves of garlic peeled and diced
2 yellow onions, peeled and diced (reserve some hearty skin for the broth)
6 stalks of celery, sliced
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 big zucchini, diced
a big sweet potato, peeled and cubed
a couple of other colorfu(red and purple)l/and or white potatoes, peeled and cubed
a can of black beans rinsed (you could use other beans, black ones give nice color to the soup)
mushrooms of your choice cleaned and sliced thin
corn (fresh or canned)
a dab of olive oil
a splash of Braggs (or soy sauce)
salt, pepper, a bay leaf, some thyme or whatever spices YOU like
vegetable broth (this time I used a tablespoon of vegan “soup starter” instead of broth)
a lot of water (i just eyeball it–filling pint glasses and adding about 8 of them) water
Grab a big soup pot. On a low flame, saute the onions and garlic for about 5-7 minutes or until your kitchen smells good! If they start to brown to quickly, add an ounce or two of water and let them sweat down. Turn the stove up high and add the water and broth/soup starter. I fill the pot about half way and then throw in the onion skin and a bay leaf and some leaf from the celery. Then come the veggies, adding the ones that take longest, first. Last go the mushrooms and canned beans. The soup is done when your veggies are soft. I usually let mine cook about an hour.
For me, it is the croutons I add at the table that makes my bowl special. They are a bit decadent when watching calories and carbs, but puff up like little pillows of yum. Finely sliced kale is also a nice add on, giving it the meal a little crunch. You are only limited by your creativity, and can change it up each and every time.
Eating healthfully, low calorie, and/or vegan does NOT have to be out of people’s financial realm. In fact, throwing a pot of soup on the burner usually also serves to use up some food that might otherwise get tossed! I promise if you take the time to make the soup it will save you tons of time and energy the rest of the week.
SOUP, IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER